Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Mage of None Magic takes a journey through art


Author: A. Christopher Drown
Featured Book Release: A Mage of None Magic
Book One The Heart of the Sisters
May 19 to May 26, 2-14
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Today I get to welcome author Christopher A Drown to my blog, as he journeys around the internet with his novel, a Mage of None Magic. You can see the cover of the book above, a haunting image that pulls you in to watch that ship set sail on its magical, or non magical journey. But where the did art come from? I asked Christopher this question, and here's his answer. Welcome to my blog Christopher!

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The cover idea for A Mage of None Magic was pretty straight forward: The first book of the series is the beginning of the journey, so I chose a scene from early in the story depicting young Niel (the protagonist) setting off to indulge in a short, harmless adventure before cloistering himself away at the College of Magic and Conjuring Arts. Of course, as is usually the case with the best-laid plans and tales such as these, things quickly go astray.



As well as being a writer I’m a professional graphic designer, and I decided it would be shrewd of me to have on-hand a finished cover concept as an added-value lure for potential publishers. The model in the illustration is my son, Alexander, who was about 6 at the time. The image of him I used to anchor the rest of the cover came from a humble Canon Elph of some sort, and then, of course, I pulled it and the other elements I’d gathered or created into Photoshop. A couple of behind-the-curtain tidbits: the lighthouse is the same that appears on the cover of the first Beacons of Tomorrow anthology; and the double moons are really the same one repeated and resized. Also, just for fun, I’ve included a copy of that original photo—note the green bath towel for the cape along with the red Thomas the Tank Engine pullover for the hood and shirt. I did my best to adjust the proportion of Alexander’s head to his torso so he didn’t look quite so young, but proving shrewdness is not exactly cleverness, I forgot to lengthen his arms accordingly. Fitting that the book was first released by Tyrannosaurus Press.



The inclusion of interior illustrations in the second edition of Mage was one of the most exciting parts of joining Seventh Star Press. I’ll admit to wariness at first, though; I can be rather particular, and with projects like these there’s only one chance to get things right. Add to that a quickly approaching deadline and a picky writer can bad enough for an artist to deal with, but a picky writer who’s also a picky graphic designer? I felt badly for whomever would get the gig. But, my wariness immediately proved unfounded from my very first email exchange with the very talented and capable Jason Conley. Both his initial proofs were dead-on, which not only set me at ease but let us concentrate on the all-important details. My many years’ experience as a designer proved far more help than hindrance, in that it let Jason and I communicate directly and efficiently in a language we both understood. He was patient and accommodating, and the end result adds a dimension to my storytelling with which I’m simply thrilled. I can’t help being confident that readers will feel the same way.



Thank you Christopher. It's cool to see how the picture came together, and I have to admit, I always love the art in Seventh Star Press productions. Having learned more about Niel and his world, from learning more about his cover, I'm now eagerly looking forward to reading the novel too.

Aaron 

About the Author: A. Christopher Drown is a native of Brunswick, Maine, who currently resides in Memphis. His work has appeared in several magazines and anthologies. The first edition of A Mage of None Magic won the 2010 Darrell Award for Best Novel. His story, Path of an Arrow, received the 2012 Darrell Award for Best Novella. He recently completed his second novel and is at work on The Book of Sediahm, the next book in the Heart of the Sisters series. An award-winning graphic designer, when not slogging away at his trusty Macbook, Pedro, he can be found hiding around a nearby corner waiting to leap out at either of his unsuspecting children.    

About the Book: A Mage of None Magic: Myth tells that magic came to be when the fabled gem known as the Heart of the Sisters was shattered by evil gods. The same tale speaks of the Heart being healed one day, unleashing a power that will bring the end of humankind. While traveling to begin his magical studies, young apprentice Niel finds himself suddenly at the center of the Heart's terrifying legend. Caught in a whirlwind of events that fractures the foundation of everything he's believed, Niel learns his role in the world may be far more important than he ever could have imagined--or ever would have wished. A Mage of None Magic begins an extraordinary adventure into a perilous land where autocratic magicians manipulate an idle aristocracy, where common academia struggles for acceptance, and where after ages of disregard myth and legend refuse to be ignored any longer.


Author Links:
 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/achrisdrown  
Twitter: @aarondrown  
Website: http://www.achristopherdrown.com  


Find out More: Follow the Tour:

5/19 Deal Sharing Aunt Character Post
5/19 MichaelSciFan Interview
 5/20 I Smell Sheep Review
 5/21 Sheila Deeth Guest Post  
5/22 Jorie Loves a Story Review/Interview  
5/24 The Cabin Goddess Interview  
5/24 Seers, Seraphs, Immortals, and More! Guest Post  
5/25 Bee's Knees Reviews Guest Post



Amazon Links for A Mage of None Magic  
Print Version http://www.amazon.com/Mage-None-Magic-Heart-Sisters/dp/1937929531
Kindle Version http://www.amazon.com/Mage-None-Magic-Heart-Sisters-ebook/dp/B00IZWR1DE

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